Walking the down the street in Waikiki, where designers like Louis Vuitton, Hermes, and Salvatore Ferragamo take up prime real estate, might be the most iconic Oahu shopping experience. True fashionistas know, however, the city’s boutique track is where the real gems are found.
On the east side of Honolulu, an area known for having some of the best beaches in the world, you find the latest looks flown in straight from fashion capitals like Los Angeles and New York, as well as local designs you can’t find anywhere else. Don’t be afraid to cast away your rubber slippers and beach cover-ups for the night, and dazzle in fancy shoes as well as something formfitting to show off that beach-bod you worked so hard to get.
This chic boutique is secluded in beachy Kailua. If you didn’t know about it in Oahu, you would never have spotted it on your stroll through the area. At the Olive Boutique, everything is hand-selected by owner and Kailua-native Ali McMahon, who always dreamed of opening up her own clothing store. You peruse through stylish, whimsical women’s wear brands like Sundry, Sol Angeles, and Free People. After trying on some essentials, as the sun shines through the store, you pick up a few souvenirs and island-inspired knickknacks to bring home.
Oliver Men’s Shop
Olive’s manly counterpart, Oliver Men’s Shop—owned by McMahon’s husband, Parker Moosman—is right next door and is your one-stop shop for indigo-dyed tees, plaid button-downs from Faherty, skincare from Ursa Major of VT, and the latest looks from local brands like Roberta Oaks. Once you walk in, you feel like you’re at a beach hideaway. At these shops, you have your cake and eat it too. You anticipate the couple’s new shop in Waikiki (opening soon!), which will mix men and women’s clothing lines and also offer a coffee bar.
Not far down the road, you discover another cozy shopping experience in the heart of Kailua: Mahina, where you find everything from essentials to bright popping colors and patterns. You leaf through the selection of basics like muted tunics and rompers, that are comfortably sitting next to crop tops, asymmetrical gowns, and a selection of sky-high stilettos. Everything you find here is something you want to wear over and over again, all located within one of Hawaii’s most fabulous boutiques. This is owners’ Jody Curtin and Joe Wilmot’s fifth store, so you make a note to check out their other locations on the island, as well as Maui and the Big Island.
The twenty-something fashion set look to Mikinola, a fashion pop-up located in Hawaii Kai. Inside the bright and cozy space, you spend hours perusing through the latest designs by For Love & Lemons, Bella Dahl, and Delacy, while you sip on a glass of wine and enjoy a Hawaiian sweet treat. Shop owner and Oahu native, Dara Fujio, has always been obsessed with the latest fashion trends, and the store offers just that. She and her team tell you what works for your body—and what doesn’t—so you walk away with something that will make you stand out in a crowd.
Designers Rona Bennett and Lan Chung opened the lovely Fighting Eel in 2011 after finding much success with its flagship store in downtown Honolulu. This season, you search for uncomplicated, feminine pieces in muted corals, navys, and island-inspired prints—using only the most soft and sumptuous fabrics. Some of your favorite pieces include the ultra-comfy shorts, paired with solid-colored tanks, while a patterned dress is perfect for your cool and casual date-night.